How to Connect with Millennial Talent

Tuesday 26th April, 2016

Yes, I am a Millennial. I heard your groan people, hear me out. Why do you want to hear me out? So we (you, me and my fellow Millennial talent) can connect of course!

I am starting with an age-old truism: the world is always evolving. So the world is rapidly changing and if you’re not changing and transforming with it, whether as an organisation or an individual, then you are getting left behind. We Millennials fundamentally get that; primary school children are learning basic coding at school, I should too!

Back in my grandparents’ day, I’ve heard that in life you were generally happy to have a job, the opportunity to own your home and that was pretty much your lot. Generally, all the living was done in the same small town and a trip to ‘the city’ was a big adventure to be undertaken in your best clothes.placeholder My parents’ generation are far more career focused. They developed in roles that were generally restricted to skillset or sector silos and had opportunities across the country as opposed to just the one town. Anyone who went overseas professionally was considered a high-flyer, very ‘80s glam.

What does all this progression mean when it comes to high performing Millennial talent?

Today, us Millennials have a ‘bring it’ mindset. We want it all, in 1.5 minutes, yesterday. We don’t restrict ourselves to silos and continually brand and rebrand ourselves. Our parents were life-long lawyers, now law is a generalist degree, a place to start. Careers are being built out of roles and industries that didn’t even exist when I left school 12 years ago, I mean, who had even heard of BIG data and now it’s BIG business. We are open to all opportunities across the globe – as long as we can connect to the opportunity.

The best Millennial talent have choices and we exercise them. We choose to work for you. A job, or even a career is not enough for us anymore, we want to feel as if the work that we are doing is truly meaningful, has a strong sense of purpose and is connected to a brand we are passionate about.

Companies aren’t just companies anymore. They are all brands that Millennials want to connect with, or disengage from.

Research by Wharton Professor, Adam Grant, found that when people are able to connect their jobs to something personally meaningful, their productivity increases as much as five times. (BTW: check out his TED video on the habits of original thinkers)

Connect. I have used that word four times in the last four paragraphs. So how does your organisation connect with Millennials?

-  Define what your organisational brand stands for in a meaningful way. I mean almost everyone has ‘integrity’ in their company values, but what does it mean to you?
-  Define your company’s purpose. Millennials need a context in which to see themselves; where do ‘I’ fit in the ecosystem?
-  Know how each individual contributes to your organisation. Millennials want to know why they are important to you.
-  Know what differentiates you from your competitors, because vanilla is vanilla.


Ricky Davison is a Client Solutions Director at Evolve Intelligence.